Bennett brace bags points for Boro’

Following some pretty dismal results which culminated in the 7-4 thumping at Bath on Tuesday, two goals from the ‘Marmite Man’, or, some might say the ‘Boomerang Boy’, were enough to secure Boro’ their first League win of 2015.

More enforced changes caused by injuries to Adam Brice and Amadeu Arnau, but buoyed by the return of Marek Rodák, saw the starting line-up shuffled again.

Michael Richens and Freddie Grant at full back, a centre pairing of Darryl Siaw, and CJ Fearn, with Ollie Treacher, in a roving role with a flexible midfield and strike force of, Dan Bennett, Harry Grant, Phil Page, Louie Theophanous and Reece Beckles.

The visitors kicked off playing towards the PRE, but Boro’ were first to show when Theophanous struck a shot from 25 yards which caused Carey to make a save in the Eastbourne goal.

At the other end a monster throw from Hamilton reached the heart of the 6 yard box, but Rodák reacted quickly to claim the ball.

Shortly afterwards, Watts met a corner with a strong header, but again the Boro’ was alert and safely gathered.

Hamilton was first to see a Yellow card when he was booked for a rather cynical block on Theophanous. The resultant free kick led to Harry Grant shooting over.

On the quarter hour mark and rather against the run of play, Boro’ conceded a sloppy goal. After several attempts to clear the ball had failed, McCallum, took the chance to open the scoring from just inside the area. Farnborough 0-1 Eastbourne Borough.

Conceding the goal seemed to galvanise Boro’ into redoubling their efforts and it was no real surprise when Dan Bennett, who had caused problems for the defence earlier, cut inside on the right, beat two defenders and slotted home the equaliser on 21 minutes. Farnborough 1-1 Eastbourne Borough.

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That goal was Bennett’s third in just two games since his return

Boro’ didn’t let up and a corner on the right was played short by Harry Grant who took a neat return pass and let fly from the corner of the area, but just too high.

Worrall was booked for a foul on CJ Fearn, then a cross from Louie Theophanous found Freddie Grant whose shot was on target, but saved by Carey.

Just before the first half ended, a strong cross from Beale on the left, passed right through the area, but out of every ones reach, then when Pinney got a shot away, Rodák saved comfortably.

During the three minutes of added time Beckles burst into the area but was muscled off the ball by Simpemba, then when Richens and Bennett combined well, the promising situation fizzled out when Mr George awarded the visitors a free kick. Not clear what for, offside, possibly.

Half Time: Farnborough 1-1 Eastbourne Borough

A first half which saw both sides create opportunities, but, the opening goal apart, Boro’ had the better of the exchanges and played some good football.

Despite recent results, they seemed to have more confidence and were certainly combining much better and playing as a team.

The second half began at 4:07pm and Boro’ took up where they finished the first 45 minutes by taking the game to the visitors.

Theophanous neatly flicked on a corner with his head causing a defender to concede another on the opposite
flank.

Just five minutes in Boro’ deservedly took the lead when Bennett headed home from a free kick on the edge of the area on 50 minutes. Farnborough 2-1 Eastbourne Borough.

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Page, goalscorer Bennett, Birthday boy Richens and Freddie Grant all celebrate

When the visitors made a rare visit to the Boro’ penalty area, Rodák saved well from Pinney.

Johnson was booked for a foul in midfield, then Eastbourne made their first change, replacing Jack Evans with Chris Sessegnon after 56 minutes.

Freddie Grant made a great run down the left, kept the ball in play and worked his way into the area along the goal line where he was robustly challenged, fairly in Mr George’s view and the ball cleared upfield. I have seen penalties given for far less contact.

Eastbourne then had a couple of chances with Rodák saving well at the feet of Pinney, before McCallum shot well over.

When Bennett latched on to a through ball and ran on towards goal, Hamilton slid in at pace and upended him. His rash challenge earned him a second Yellow, followed by a Red and left the visitors facing the best part of half an hour with ten men.

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Bennett shows his sympathy for Hamilton after the Referee reduces The Sports to 10 men

Minutes later Beckles put Bennett through on goal again and he looked odds on to complete his hat trick. However, when he opened up his body to side foot home, his shot lacked power allowing Watts time to clear off the line with his keeper well beaten.

Boro’ made a change, replacing Beckles, who was rightly applauded for his contribution, with Roman Michael-Percil on 71 minutes.

A minute later Freddie Grant was booked, then in a four minute period both sides made changes. Eastbourne bringing on Matt Aldred and Darren Lok for Worrall and Sinclair on 73 minutes.

Boro’ brought on Gus Sow in place of Phil Page after 77 minutes.

Being a man down meant the visitors were mostly restricted to the odd counter attack and Beale was well off target from distance.

With ten minutes of the ninety remaining, Bennett’s intended cross from the right ended up just dropping over the bar.

At the other end the industrious Pinney, had a close range header saved by Rodák and shortly after, turned well 12 yards out but shot wide.

Boro’ made their final change in the 88th minute with Louie Theophanous making way for a brief first appearance for Nathan Chambers.

In added time (4 minutes) and following a frantic few moments in the six yard box, Marek Rodák ran to the edge of his area and said something to the Assistant Referee. The keeper was booked, but without the benefit of the Referee’s report one can only assume it was for something he said.

Even more puzzling since the game restarted with a Boro’ free kick which can only have realistically been given for off-side!!!!

Bennett came close to a further goal at the end of added time.

FULL TIME: Farnborough 2-1 Eastbourne Borough

A much improved performance from Boro’ and a great relief to the fans to get three precious points. There’s been a good deal of criticism recently, some of it deserved, some less so.

Today, they played as a team, with more confidence in themselves, showed good ability and plenty of grit. It was obvious at the end from the reaction of players and fans, how much it meant to everyone.

I hope some of the regular critics turned up and saw it for themselves. Well done to everyone, some solid foundations on which to build.

Next up for Farnborough: Saturday 28 February (KO 3pm), Gosport Borough (away).

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